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This week at the Cricket World Cup: South Africa hopes hanging in the balance

South Africa

London, June 17: South Africa may have to win all of their remaining group-stage matches to earn a place in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals and Faf du Plessis' side face two tricky challenges this week.

WC Special | Full schedule | Squads

The Proteas lost their first three games at this tournament, belatedly getting a point on the board with a washout against West Indies before picking up their first win thanks to a comfortable triumph over Afghanistan last week.

But things certainly do not get any easier for South Africa over the coming seven days, as they take on an unbeaten New Zealand and a mercurial Pakistan, who desperately need a win themselves following Sunday's resounding defeat to fierce rivals India.

Virat Kohli's side look the strongest all-round outfit in the competition and they should pick up another victory against Afghanistan, who also face hosts England in a tough week for the only team yet to claim a point.

FIXTURES

Monday 17 June: West Indies v Bangladesh (Taunton) - 1030 BST start

Tuesday 18 June: England v Afghanistan (Old Trafford) - 1030

Wednesday 19 June: New Zealand v South Africa (Edgbaston) - 1030

Thursday 20 June: Australia v Bangladesh (Trent Bridge) - 1030

Friday 21 June: England v Sri Lanka (Headingley) - 1030

Saturday 22 June: India v Afghanistan (the Rose Bowl) - 1030, West Indies v New Zealand (Old Trafford) - 1330

Sunday 23 June: Pakistan v South Africa (Lord's) - 1030

THE WEEK'S BIG GAME

With over half their matches played and only three points to their name, South Africa can ill-afford any slip-ups. Their first assignment of the week comes against the Black Caps on Wednesday, in a repeat of the thrilling semi-final from four years ago that saw New Zealand squeeze through. If the Proteas can dish out a first defeat of the tournament to Kane Williamson's side, they will go into Sunday's clash against an erratic Pakistan with renewed hope of securing a top-four finish.

STANDINGS

1. Australia - 8pts from 5 games, Net Run Rate +0.812 2. New Zealand - 7pts from 4 games, NRR +2.163 3. India - 7pts from 4 games, NRR +1.029 4. England - 6pts from 4 games, NRR +1.557 5. Sri Lanka - 4pts from 5 games, NRR -1.778 6. West Indies - 3pts from 4 games, NRR +0.666 7. South Africa - 3pts from 5 games, NRR -0.208 8. Bangladesh - 3pts from 4 games, NRR -0.714 9. Pakistan - 3pts from 5 games, NRR -1.933 10. Afghanistan - 0pts from 4 games, NRR -1.638

LEADING RUN-SCORERS

1: Aaron Finch (Aus) - 343 2: Rohit Sharma (Ind) - 319 3: David Warner (Aus) - 281

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS

=1: Mohammad Amir (Pak), Mitchell Starc (Aus) - 13 2: Pat Cummins (Aus) - 11

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Story first published: Monday, June 17, 2019, 12:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 17, 2019
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